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Lyttelton Tunnel

20 March 2020



New Lyttelton Tunnel protocols – COVID 19

We are all aware of the impact that COVID-19 is having on our nation.  Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is responding appropriately with contingency plans to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on the transport network.

We recognise that  the Lyttelton road tunnel is a key link in the Canterbury highway network, and the ongoing operation of the tunnel is essential.  To keep the tunnel operating requires a minimum number of trained onsite staff to monitor, undertake escorts and respond to incidents. Without these staff the tunnel would need to be closed for safety reasons.

To reduce the potential for exposure of our staff to COVID-19, we are making some small changes which will be effective from 23 March 2020. 

  • All vehicles requiring escort are still required to stop at the laybys either end of the tunnel and to make contact with tunnel control as normal.
  • Drivers are requested to remain in their vehicles.
  • A risk-based approach will be taken to the review of dangerous goods paper work. This will mean that there is unlikely to be a physical exchange of paperwork between Tunnel Control and the driver.
  • Dangerous Goods paperwork will need to be electronically transmitted to Tunnel Control via phone message or email.   We request that this paperwork be sent prior to arrival at the Tunnel. Please email or alternatively you can photograph the paperwork and send to 027 235 3609.
  • Load details are to include the Transport Company’s name and Container number if applicable. If the freight is not in a container the Registration number of the truck is required.
  • Over-dimensional loads will also be required to give advanced warning. Details should include the truck registration, load type and width.
  • To assist it would be most helpful if the direction of travel and estimated time of arrival at the tunnel could be provided with the information.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Lyttelton Tunnel Manager
Barry Stratton
Ph: 021 883 806



More information


Get the latest Lyttelton Tunnel travel information at or call 0800 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49).

For more information on the Lyttelton Tunnel project, visit our website